U.S. November auto sales keep pace for record 2015

Tue Dec 1, 2015 5:07pm EST
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By Bernie Woodall

DETROIT (Reuters) - Strong U.S. auto sales in November kept the industry on pace for a record year in 2015, helped by marketing promotions and strength in sport utility vehicles, according to monthly sales figures released by automakers on Tuesday.

U.S. auto sales last month rose 1.4 percent to 1.32 million vehicles, a whisper below the industry record for November in 2001.

On a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, however, last month was a record for any November at 18.19 million vehicles sold, partly due to fewer selling days this year, according to Autodata Corp.

Figures may be revised on Wednesday when Daimler AG (DAIGn.DE: Quote) issues Mercedes-Benz results, Autodata said.

Most analysts say 2015 sales will top the record of 17.35 million vehicles in 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Year-end holiday promotions were pushed into November as automakers emphasized Black Friday deals.

“Black Friday has become a much bigger part of the auto industry over the last several years," said Nissan's (7201.T: Quote) U.S. sales chief, Dan Mohnke. "It used to be a non-automotive retail holiday but now it is becoming more and more an automotive retail holiday as well, feeding right into the holiday season which traditionally has been December and luxury sales."

Now, the holiday season includes mainstream models as well as luxury ones, said Mohnke.   Continued...

Rush hour traffic is shown on Interstate 95 near downtown Miami, Florida November 5, 2015.  REUTERS/Joe Skipper